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Scott Calls For Action On Red Tide Amid Political Clamor

06 August 2018

The state wildlife agency says red tide, a type of algae, has been a naturally occuring phenomenon along Florida's Gulf Coast since at least the 1840s and that blooms occur almost every year in the Gulf of Mexico.

According to U.S. network CNN, this year's effect of the red tide on marine life has been unprecedented. The state's governor has declared a state of emergency. "We're even seeing large loggerhead sea turtles being effected, and that's because this red tide has lasted into the nesting season".

Florida's southwest coast, a ribbon of inlets and barrier islands normally brimming with wildlife, has become a red tide slaughterhouse this summer. FWC arrived and is helping to transport the manatee to SeaWorld in Orlando, where it will be treated and monitored until it can be released back into the wild. The FWC "documented 287 sea turtle deaths in Gulf of Mexico waters along the southwest Florida coast since the toxic bloom started in October", the Associated Press reported last week.

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Social media has been inundated with images of dead animals that failed to escape the toxic bloom washing up on the Gulf of Mexico beaches across Florida.

The blooms are killing fish and marine life.

"It's hard to predict more than a few days out [when it will end]", Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Michelle Kerr told CNN.

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Harvesting of shellfish like clams, oysters or mussels in a Red Tide area is banned.

FWC officials also want to quickly remove the bodies of dead marine life because their decomposition only works to fuel an already relentless red tide bloom.

More than a dozen people have gone to the emergency room after exposure to the blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria.

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Scott Calls For Action On Red Tide Amid Political Clamor